Dwelling and hospitality : a phenomenological inquiry into therapeutic community.
This phenomenological study firstly examines the
concept of the 'therapeutic community' as it appears within
contemporary British psychiatry. It argues that certain
confusions and contradictions which are exhibited within
this area of practice arise as an inevitable consequence of
the medicalistic and psychologistic epistemologies upon
which these communities are predicated.
Secondly, it proposes a number of informing sources
whereby the practices of a therapeutic community might be
more soundly guided. Amongst these are the ethical writings
of Aristotle, and the discussions of 'dwelling' which are to
be found within recent European philosophical writings. In
particular, certain writings of Heidegger, Levinas and
Bachelard are seen to be important. Informed by these
sources, it is argued, we may find ourselves in a position
to embody theorizing in a manner which more befits the
subject matter of the therapeutic community.
In the third part, an illustration is offered, of one
therapeutic community household within which these questions
of 'dwelling' were raised, and whose therapeutic gesture
was understood in terms of the hospitality of dwelling,
rather than the application of psychological method.
Discussion is devoted to the founding of this household,
the embeddedness of its conversations within the fabric of
the ordinary, and the issues which were raised in the course
of its finding its own way. In the final chapter of this
thesis, attention is paid to the matter of the evaluatioof such therapeutic households, and to their relevance to
the current social policy of psychiatric 'care in the